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be one Christ. This day many prophets and kings desired to see'; for God manifest in the flesh was the foundation of their faith and hopes. They longed to see this day break, and to behold the sun of righteousness, with his saving and healing influences, arisi ing upon the earth; and when he did arise, we find those who were then looking for redemption singing his praises with grateful hearts—“ Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, through whose tender mercy the day-spring from on high hath visited us:" they blessed God, because the substance was now to take place of the shadow, and all the legal ceremonies were to be succeeded by gospel realities. When the glorious day of Christ's appearance in the flesh was come, and the light of life was risen upon the earth, then
“ The shadows were to flee away.” The legal ceremonies are called shadows in scripture, because they were the outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual objects. St. Paul says the ceremonial law " had the shadow of good things to come,” (Heb. X. 1,) of the good things which are now come to us by the advent of Christ, and it had the patterns and examples of heavenly things: every one of which had God for its author, and was instituted by him to be an apt figure, and to raise a just idea of some spiritual object; as Moses was admonished of God, when he was about to make the tabernacle. “ For see, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee on the mount.” Every rite and ceremony was a pattern of some heavenly object, the real existence of which the pattern proved, as a shadow proves the reality of the substance from which it is cast, and the resemblance and likeness of which it set before the eyes, as the shadow of a body is a representation of it. The scripture has expressly determined, what all these shadows were to represent: for the apostle, speaking of them in Col. ii. 17, declares, “ that they were the shadows of things to come, but the body is of Christ.” Christ is the reality of all the shadows of the law : he is the body, the substance
of whom they are the pictures. If you take away the reference to him, they cease to be examples and shadows of heavenly things; but if you suppose them to represent him and his actions, and sufferings, &c. then they answered many noble purposes, until he came in the flesh to fulfil them: for then these shadows.were to flee away, one great end of their institution being answered; the observance of them was to be no longer in force; but they were to be entirely repealed and abrogated. However, until this blessed day should break, and these legal shadows should thus flee away, the text says they were to serve a double purpose, they were first to be the outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual grace given unto us, and ordained by Christ himself to be secondly a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof. This is plainly implied in the last words of the text, in which Christ declares, that until the ceremonies were fulfilled, by his coming in the flesh, he would be spiritually present in them.
“ I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense." Where was this mountain of myrrh? Was it not the place in which the Lord was present till the shadows fled away? And where was he present, but in the services of the ceremonial law, which could not be performed any where, when the text was spoken, but in the temple? There the Lord had put his name; and had sanctified the house by the presence of his glory—“I have chosen, says the Lord, (Il. Chron. vii. 16,) and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever and ever, and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually:" there will I receive the sacrifices which I have forbidden to be offered any where else, there will I accept of the prayers of the faithful offerer, and there will I dwell between the cherubim, with visible tokens of my divine presence and glory. As he chose the people of Israel out of all the nations of the earth, to be his people, so he chose his sanctuary in Judah, and the holy hill of Sion to
be his dwelling place, manifesting his presence there in such a manner as he did no where else in the world; and, therefore we may infer, that when Christ
says, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, until the shadows flee away, he certainly meant the mountain of the Lord's house. And the Hebrew word justifies this inference: for the word rendered myrrh is the very same root with Moriah, the mount upon which the temple stood. I will get me to the mountain of Moriah, and there will I dwell, because I have a delight therein. So that we have here a plain testimony of Christ's presence in the ceremonial services performed upon mount Moriah. In these he was to be found of them that sought him, until the day of his manifestation of the flesh. And the meaning of the word seems to me farther to confirm this interpretation ; for it signifies bitterness; what is bitter to the taste and bitter to the spirit, grievous and hard to be borne; and what was there to be seen or done upon mount Moriah to render this its proper name?' Look at the chief part of the temple service, and then judge. It consisted in making gifts and sacrifices for sin, in which you may behold a striking picture of the bitter sufferings of the lamb of God. In the sacrifices were represented every day things more bitter than death, the shedding of his blood, and the taking away of his life. He bled and died under the wrath of God, and to satisfy the infinite demands of law and justice. His agony and bloody sweat, his cross and passion, show what bitter things the Father had written against him. These were represented in the roasting of the paschal lamb with fire, and in the eating it with bitter herbs. And when Christ, our passover, was sacrificed for us, and really underwent the fire of the Father's wrath, there never was any sorrow like unto that sorrow, which forced him to cry out in the bitterness of his soul, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
If all these circumstances be laid together, they will evidently determine the place of Christ's presence,
while the ceremonial law was in force.
He was spiritually present in the temple service, to render the sacrifices and the other typical rites the means of grace, and effectual to the ends for which they were instituted: for after the moral law was broken, there was no way to salvation but by faith in the promised Saviour, and the necessity of faith in him was taught by the services of the ceremonial law; as it is written, “ through faith they kept the passover;" they acted faith upon Christ in the passover: they slew and roasted the paschal lamb with fire, and eat it with bitter herbs, knowing it to be a type of the future sacrifice of the lamb of God, of the benefits of whose death they were then, through faith, partakers. They found his spiritual presence strengthening and refreshing their souls at the passover, as we do now at the Lord's supper, and they knew that through his merits and mediation their persons and their services were acceptable to God the Father, which is, I think, the sense of the last words of the text_“I will get me to the hill of frankincense.”
This is the same place mentioned before, only described by another name to express a different property. Incense was, by divine command, a chief part of the temple service. As the sacrifices offered in the temple were to represent the death of Christ, so the incense there offered was to represent the sweet savour of his meritorious death, which alone could reconcile God to sinners, and could render them and their services well pleasing in his sight; and therefore that rich perfume, mentioned in Exod. xxx. which was the type of the sweet incense of Christ's merits, was forbid upon pain of death to be used upon any other occasion than in the service of God, and in any other place than in the tabernacle at that time, and afterwards in the temple. The command is, (verse 36,) "thou shalt put of it before the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee; it shall be unto you most holy: (ver, 38,) whosoever shall make like unto that, to'smell
thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.” This was to show that God the Father is rendered propitious to sinners only through the merits of his Son's sacrifice, and that he who seeks to be accepted in any other way or means shall die in his sins. The incense, then, was the type of Christ's meritorious death, and the hill of frankincense was the holy hill of Sion, upon which incense used to be offered, and a pure offering. The offering was that great sacrifice of the lamb of God, shadowed out by all the sacrifices slain from the foundation of the world, and the incense was to represent the efficacy of his sacrifice. It is said of the typical offerings, that the Lord smelleil a sweet savour ; how much more was he pleased with the offering and sacrifice of Christ, which was indeed a sweet-smelling savour, acceptable and well pleasing unto God?
But how was Christ present in the offering up of the incense? It was his institution, and he was spi. ritually present to render it effectual to the ends for which he instituted it. He appointed it to be one of the means of grace : for he taught believers by this ceremony, that he could make them and their services acceptable to the offended Deity, and by his Spirit he gave them the comfortable knowledge of their acceptance. When, therefore, he mentions his presence on the hill of frankincense, it is as if he had said, when the high priest enters once every year at the great feast of atonement into the holy of holies, and there fumes the incense before the cherubim of glory; and sprinkles the blood before the mercy seat,
will then enable believers to act faith upon my future fulfilling and realizing of this service: for after my sacrifice upon earth, I will enter into the holy of holies, and will there plead my merits before the mercy seat in heaven, and by my all-prevailing intercession, will render the persons and services of believers well pleasing unto God the Father. Thus Christ was present upon the hill of frankincense, and there the faithful expected to meet with him: for while the